July 14, 2010
Passenger Who Overpowered Terrorist Onboard Wins Safe Skies Award
Atlanta, For Immediate Release: Jasper Schuringa, who bravely overpowered a bomb-wielding terrorist on an international flight, has been named the winner of the 2009 Conway Safe Skies Award.
Schuringa demonstrated singular courage on Dec. 25, 2009, while he was a passenger onboard Delta-Northwest Flight 253. As the Airbus 330 prepared to land that day at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, passenger Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to detonate an explosive device concealed on his leg. Schuringa heard a loud pop and smelled smoke in the passenger cabin.
That spurred the 32-year-old Dutchman's immediate and extraordinary actions. Climbing over rows of seats toward the smoke, Schuringa quickly confronted Abdulmutallab. The terrorist was then holding the flaming explosive in his hands, still attempting to fully detonate the device. Schuringa tore the explosive away and attempted to put out the flames with his bare hands. When that failed, he dropped the still-burning device and yelled for fire extinguishers. Several pillows had caught fire, and other passengers were stamping the flames on the floor to try and contain the blaze.
In the meantime, Schuringa continued his unrelenting attack. He grabbed the 23-year-old terrorist in a headlock, wrestling him up the aisle and into the first-class section. At that point, crew members and other passengers joined in the counterattack, successfully neutralizing Abdulmutallab. Crew members then handcuffed the terrorist and flight attendants removed all of his clothing, making sure that he wasn't carrying additional explosives. Once Flight 253 landed, police took the terrorist into custody.
Schuringa, who works as a video director and producer, suffered burns on his right hand, sustained while wresting the explosives from the terrorist. Delta-Northwest 253 originated from Amsterdam, where Schuringa lives. The flight had 278 passengers and 11 crew members aboard. Schuringa was planning to change planes in Detroit to fly to Miami for the holiday.
A native Nigerian, Abdulmutallab had begun his Christmas Day flight by first flying to Amsterdam from Lagos, Nigeria. Once in the Netherlands, the terrorist boarded Delta-Northwest 253, his connecting flight to the U.S. Federal authorities have reported that Abdulmutallab is linked to al-Qaeda.
McKinley Conway, president and founder of Atlanta-based Conway Data Inc., has been sponsoring the Conway Safe Skies Award since he created the honor in 1990. In an effort to improve the security of the world's air transport system, the Conway Safe Skies Award recognizes outstanding efforts to protect the global air travelers' safety. Nominees can include flight crews; passengers; ground crews; law enforcement officers; security personnel; aircraft designers; airport officials; and scientists developing explosives detection devices or other security systems. The Safe Skies Award panel gives special consideration to those who risked their own lives in the protection of air travelers.
An active pilot for over 50 years, Conway is an aeronautical engineer, a former NACA/NASA scientist, an airport planner and the publisher of Site Selection magazine. He has also authored numerous books, including Principles of High-Speed Flight and The Airport City.More about Conway Data:
Atlanta-based Conway Data Inc. (CDI) is the parent company and publisher of Site Selection magazine. CDI founder and Chairman McKinley Conway in 1954 began publishing Site Selection, the first magazine ever focused on corporate real estate and economic development. In 1983, Conway also created SiteNet (www.sitenet.com), the first online network serving the development industry.
In addition to publishing Site Selection, CDI manages the Industrial Asset Management Council (IAMC at www.iamc.org), a highly regarded association that includes many of the top real estate asset managers at the world's largest and most successful companies. Conway founded IAMC in 2002.
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